Friday, October 31, 2014

Marston Mats

Before and during WWII, logistics and flexibility of options to deal with men and equipment guided technology.  With the expanded use of air power, addressing the logistical needs of aircraft became imperative.

“The most recent information from operations now in progress abroad indicates that permanent runways are out of the question in modern warfare (causing) the development of landing and take-off mats to assume the highest possible priority.”  (Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Air Corps)

Runways for bombers based in rear areas could be built like standard highways. These plans for simple construction were almost obsolete as soon as made, for the Air Corps was even then designing heavier planes which called for runways of greater bearing capacity.

Constructing runways at the front and more elaborate ones farther back, as the planes being contemplated in 1939 dictated, would take a long time—long enough to interfere seriously with the striking power of the air arm.

The Air Corps expressed immediate interest in news that the British and French were laying down portable steel mats as a substitute for hard-surfaced runways.

In December 1939, the Air Corps asked the Engineers to develop a similar landing mat. Since practically nothing was known about the subject, the two services agreed that the Engineers would attempt to get more information from abroad, would canvass the American market for likely materials, and, after conducting field tests with loaded trucks, choose the most promising types for service tests with planes.

The military command noted, "The requirements may be divided into two separate categories: First, pursuit and observation, ie, light weight types; Second, bombardment, ie, heavy load types."  It seemed possible that "if no delays are incurred and if this project is pushed that some concrete decision can be arrived at by the first of the Fiscal Year 1941."

A pierced steel plank was developed at Waterways Experiment Station, an Army Corps of Engineers research facility in Mississippi.  The 21st Engineers, under the command of Col Dwight Frederick Johns, was assigned the task of investigating techniques for the rapid construction of air bases.

In November 1941, the first major aerial operation experiments took place at Marston, North Carolina.  The 21st Engineering Regiment (Aviation) constructed a 3,000-foot runway on virgin ground for use by the 1st Air Support Command.  The job took 11-days and used 18-railroad carloads of a new product known as pierced steel planking.  (Gabel)

It met expectations; and early in February 1942, the Engineers and Aviation groups agreed on a minimum of 15,000,000 square feet of mats. Thereafter demands increased rapidly.

By midsummer, the total required production of pierced plank mat was at 180,000,000 square feet—an amount that would consume from 70,000 to 100,000 tons of steel per month (about one third of the nation’s sheet capacity.)

While the Corps called it ”pierced (or perforated) steel planks (PSP,)” it adopted a name associated where it was initially tested – Marston Mats (named for the North Carolina City.)

The standardized, perforated steel matting was pierced with 87 holes to allow drainage; it was 10-feet long by 15-inches wide and weighed 66-pounds; a later aluminum version came in at 32 pounds.

The mats were often laid over the local vegetation, which varied depending on the location from loose straw to palm fronds. The sandwich of steel and vegetation absorbed moisture and cut the dust kicked up by heavy aircraft.

While the first planked airstrip took 11-days to install, by the end of World War II an airfield could be carried across the Pacific within a single cargo hold of a Liberty ship, and could be ready for aircraft to land 72 hours after unloading. (AirSpaceMag)

During raids, sometimes the mats were hit/damaged.  The Seabees constructed "repair stations" along the runway, each with foxholes for the repair crews and packages of 1600 square feet of Marston mat, the amount that experience showed was necessary to repair the damage from a 500-pound bomb.

Trucks were preloaded with sand and gravel and concealed around the runway. Following a hit on the runway, the repair crews would clear away the damaged Marston mat as the trucks were brought out to dump their loads in the crater.

100 Seabees could repair the damage of a 500-pound bomb hit on an airstrip in forty minutes.  In other words, forty minutes after that bomb exploded, you couldn't tell that the airstrip had ever been hit.  (Budge)

At first the US had Marston Mats to itself, but eventually the invention was shared with its Allies, including Russia under the Lend-Lease program.

Two-million tons of temporary runway were produced in WWII to bring American airfields to each island captured from the Japanese. Marston Mats have been used in every war since.   (AirSpaceMag)

The pierced plank mat continued to be the type requested by theater commanders. The Engineers admitted that the pierced plank mat “turned in a creditable performance through-out the world.”  (The Corps of Engineers)

Among other places, Marston Mats formed the 6,000-foot temporary runway at Morse Field - South Point, Hawaiʻi.  Likewise, the Kualoa Airfield at Kāneʻohe Bay had a Marston Mat ramp.  Kahuku Army Air Base started as a Marston Mat runway that was later paved.

In the later ‘reuse’ category, my mother found that aluminum Marston mats made great benches and re-potting surfaces for her orchids.

The image shows pierced steel planks (PSP) (Marston Mats) at Kualoa Airfield on Kāneʻohe Bay in the 1940.  .  In addition, I have added some other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Follow Peter T Young on Facebook  

Follow Peter T Young on Google+

Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn   

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Walkers

“The ‘Wandering Minstrel’ was purchased in Hong Kong … Sailors believe in lucky and unlucky ships. I never did - but I do now. She ruined her builders; everyone that owned her, regretted it; … From the time of sailing, Friday, October the 13th, 1887, we had nothing but gales, a typhoon and ill luck ….”  (Walker)

So starts the story of Captain Frederick Dunbar Walker, born in Dublin, Ireland, December 3, 1838, and his family – their misadventures aboard the ‘Wandering Minstrel’ and life in Honolulu.

“The Wandering Minstrel, a 500-ton bark, left Hong Kong on September 3, 1887, on a shark fishing expedition.  It was Captain Walker’s intention to be gone a year and a half.  The first port touched at was Honolulu”.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1900)

“(S)he sailed from Honolulu, December 10th, 1887, on a fishing cruise, with a crew of 24 hands and 4 passengers, arrived at French Frigate Shoals on the 18th December, left same place December 27th, arrived at Midway Island, and anchored in Welles’ Harbour, Jan. 9th, 1888.”

“On February 2nd a strong wind and sea sprung up, so that she was unable to get out, and on the following day became a total loss.”  (Board of Trade Wreck Report for ‘Wandering Minstrel,’ 1889)

“During their enforced sojourn on this forsaken place the Walkers existed entirely on bird’s egg, fish and a shark and a turtle which they were fortunate to capture … Sometimes the party were a week without food…”

“On the Island was found a man named Jorgensen, a Dane, who was one of the crew of the ship named the General Siegel, which had been wrecked on the Island some time before.”

“Jorgensen had murdered the captain and a man of the ‘General Siegel,’ and after the killing the crew had deserted him, having previously destroyed another boat and gone in the remaining boat to the Marshall Islands six months before the Wandering Minstrel went to pieces on the reef.”  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1900)

“About three months after the wreck six of the crew took the best boat we had at nighttime, and went to Green Island, and from thence the following day started for the open sea.  A heavy gale set in that night, and there is no doubt all perished, as no tidings were ever heard of them.”

“Our life was one continual hunt for food. Six men left for Green Island and lived there and were never sick, though the water was a dirty greenish color, owing to decayed vegetable matter. Several of us on Sand Island, however, were ill with scurvy. Three died.”  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, October 24, 1909)

“The castaways were at last rescued by the schooner Norma, from Yokohama, engaged in shark fishing. The captain of the Norma had been told by friends of the Walkers in Yokohama to keep a sharp lookout for them, and he called at Midway Island in pursuance of what he admitted to be forlorn hope.”  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1900)

“Of the twenty-nine souls wrecked, six were drowned by the upsetting of a boat, one was murdered, three succumbed to the ravages of beri-beri, two died of starvation, one died on the way home and was buried at sea, and only sixteen of the original complement came back alive to Honolulu”.

“(A)mong that number are the five members of the Walker family, whose survival is all the more wonderful on account of their being the least fitting to stand the hardships endured.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1900)

Walker’s three sons “have grown up with the town as enterprising and useful citizens, while he himself had been active to the last in various commercial and industrial projects.”  (Honolulu Star Bulletin, November 20, 1916)

The sons are, “Frederick GE Walker (a photographer,) Henry E Walker of the Walker rice mill, and Charles D Walker who is engaged in the boat-building business here.”   (Hawaiian Gazette, November 21, 1916)

The experience obviously didn’t deter the brothers from going to sea.  They raced boats; Charles, “recently returned from Japan, where he had gone to challenge Japanese yachtsmen to compete for a Hawaiian cup … stating that he will race a Hawaiian-built boat in Japanese waters on certain conditions.”   (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 13, 1904)

Son Henry showed, “The milling of rice is not confined to the Chinese, as is the cultural phase of the industry. One of the largest and most modern of the rice mills is conducted by Mr HE Walker in Honolulu.”  (Hawaiʻi Experiment Station, 1906)

The three boys also left a lasting legacy to their mother, Elizabeth.  Down the short Mission Lane, just below Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Museum, in the shadow of Kawaiahaʻo Church, is the ‘Elizabeth Building.)  (It’s still there.)

The brothers lived on the top two floors and maintained a carriage shop on the street level. The older brick building next door (‘Mews’) served as their place of business, which included carriage and boat shops. (“Mews” is a British slang term for stables.)  (Burlingame)

Another family legacy lives on … “Captain Walker once related the story to Mr Strong, a son-in-law of Robert Louis Stevenson, and it is shrewdly suspected in certain quarters that the diverting tale of “The Wrecker” is based on none other than the experiences of the survivors of the Wandering Minstrel.”  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1900)

Walker liked life in the Islands.  “Homeward bound - for Honolulu - beautiful Honolulu, justly called the ‘Paradise of the Pacific.’  I am unable to state how many residents there are who came as visitors, either on business or pleasure, and remained permanently.”

“Many, like myself, are sea waifs, rescued from shipwreck, brought here and declined to move on, but commenced life anew, and are now well satisfied with their decision.”  (Walker)  Walker became a naturalized citizen on September 21, 1906.

The image shows Frederick Dunbar Walker.  In addition, I have added others similar images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Follow Peter T Young on Facebook

Follow Peter T Young on Google+ 

Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn  

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Excuse my back”

Conversation at Waikīkī: “I see Ed Sawtelle’s back” “I didn't know he had been away” “I said that I see Ed Sawtelle’s back’s the best known back in Honolulu. I want to see the face in front of the back for once.”

“Ed Sawtelle doesn't need to say ‘Excuse my back’ when he sits at the console of the great Robert Morton Organ in the Waikīkī Theater: that tall swaying silhouette under the proscenium lights is his signature.  (Blanding, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 27, 1954)

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sawtelle is a graduate of Harvard, where he majored in music, and a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied under two of the nation’s outstanding authorities, Professor Henry Dunham and Professor Wallace Goodrich.

For some time, Sawtelle was with the Boston Symphony, and for three years was accompanist with the Boston Opera House. He entered the theatrical field in New York, and has been organist and musical director in theaters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, and Boston.

For many years, Sawtelle was associated with the Robert Morton Organ Company demonstrating and installing theatrical organs. In this particular field he was considered one at the greatest authorities in the country.

Sawtelle first came to Hawaiʻi in 1922 as organist at the opening of the Princess Theater. While here he was organist at the Hawaiʻi Theater, and went to Hilo to open the Palace Theater as organist and musical director. He returned to Honolulu to open the new Waikīkī Theater.

Leaving Hawaii in 1929, Sawtelle was featured on the radio in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. A concert tour took him through the major centers of the nation.

Mrs. Sawtelle returned to Honolulu with her husband. She, too, is noted in the field of music, having appeared throughout the country on concert tour as Carmen Prentice, mezzo-soprano.

Not only did Sawtelle supervise the building of the Hammond organ for the Waikīkī Theater, but he brought it to Honolulu with him, and has supervised the installation at the new playhouse.  (Honolulu Advertiser, August 20, 1936)

As organist for the Consolidated Amusement Company since 1922 with only a break of seven years from 1929 to 1936, Ed meant “moods, memories and music” to Honolulu audiences.

During the war years his audiences extended far beyond the limits of the movie palaces to little lonely atolls in the deep Pacific, to hospitals and observation posts in the Islands, and to ships at sea as his Star Dust Serenade went out over the airwaves to reach and sooth the homesick hearts of men and women in the service.   (Blanding, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 27, 1954)

Starting in 1937, Sawtelle played the new organ at intermissions and on weekly live radio broadcasts heard throughout the Pacific during World War II. For a time, Sawtelle played two shows a day, seven days a week. He eventually retired in 1955, but a succession of organists carried on the tradition through 1997.

The 1,353-seat Waikīkī Theater opened with great fanfare on August 20, 1936.  “This first-class theatre survived as a single-screen house its entire life.”  (TheatresOfHawaii)   Dickey created an environment as charming and artificial as the image on the screen.  (Charlot)

In 1939, the Waikīkī Theatre was equipped with a Robert Morton theatre organ, which had originally been installed (with a twin console) in the Hawaiʻi Theatre in 1929.  (Peterson)

“No theater in the world has a more picturesque setting than Waikīkī.  Situated on the beach at Waikīkī, it stands on the site where once Hawaiʻi’s royalty played.  The playhouse now becomes a glorious new addition to the beach made famous in song and story.  It is the new center of activity of that district which long been the mecca of travelers from the world over.”  (Honolulu Advertiser; Alder)

“Inside the theater, it felt as if you were in a tropical paradise. A full-colored rainbow arched over the curtains that hid the screen. Along the side walls, there were palm trees that reached from floor to ceiling and lush jungle plants, which appeared absolutely real to my child’s eyes.”

“Then, a distinguished gentleman named Ed Sawtelle would appear and sit down at a large organ console, located just below and in front of the stage, and begin a concert that filled the hall with rolling music that vibrated off the walls.”  (Richard Kelley)

Click HERE for a short rendition of White Christmas by Edwin Sawtelle.

The image shows Edwin Sawtelle at the organ in the Waikīkī Theater.  I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Follow Peter T Young on Facebook  

Follow Peter T Young on Google+    

Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn   

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Katsu Kobayakawa Goto

“Early on the morning of the 29th the body of K. Goto, a Japanese storekeeper, was found hanging to a telephone post not far from the Honokaa court house between that and the Lyceum, with his arms tied behind him and his legs also tied.  He had been dead several hours.”  (Daily Bulletin, October 30, 1889)

Katsu Kobayakawa was the eldest son of Izaemon Kobayakawa.  Katsu (Jun) was born in the Kanagawa Prefecture in 1862.  He worked as a store clerk in Yokohama, where he became fluent in English by associating with Englishmen and Americans.  (Nakano)

He was anxious to go to Hawaiʻi; but being the first born son, he was expected to take over the family business.  Katsu changed his surname to Goto so he could travel Hawaiʻi to make a better living for himself.

In the Islands, Hawai‘i’s economy turned toward sugar in the decades between 1860 and 1880; these twenty years were pivotal in building the plantation system.  By 1883, more than 50-plantations were producing sugar on five islands.

A shortage of laborers to work in the growing (in size and number) sugar plantations became a challenge; the answer was imported labor.  The first to arrive were the Chinese (1852.)

In March 1881, King Kalākaua visited Japan during which he discussed with Emperor Meiji Hawaiʻi's desire to encourage Japanese nationals to settle in Hawaiʻi; this improved the relationship of the Hawaiian Kingdom with the Japanese government. (Nordyke/Matsumoto)

The first 944-government-sponsored, Kanyaku Imin, Japanese immigrants to Hawaiʻi arrived in Honolulu aboard the SS City of Tokio on February 8, 1885.  Katsu was on that first boatload of Japanese immigrants, included with 676-men, 158-women and 110-children on the first of 26 shiploads of government contract Japanese immigrants between 1885 and 1894.

Katsu fulfilled his 3-year contract commitment, working in the Hāmākua sugarcane fields.  After that, he took over a small, general merchandise store previously run by Bunichiro Onome in Honokaʻa, then the Island’s second largest town.  (Niiya)

He was very successful selling to the Japanese, native Hawaiian and haole population and was soon viewed as leader in the Japanese immigrant community. (Kubota)

On October 28, 1889 Goto was killed.

Four were accused and stood trial: Joseph R Mills, Thomas Steele, William C Blabon and William D Watson.

Steele was Overend’s overseer.  Blabon was teamster for Mills.  Watson was head teamster for Overend and a former employee of Mills.

Deputy Attorney-General Arthur Porter Peterson notes, “The prosecution would show that Goto was not killed while hanging to the telephone pole, but when he was waylaid and dragged from his horse, and was only hung to the post as an act of bravado, within sight and almost within sound of the temple of justice.”  (Daily Bulletin, May 13, 1890)

Some suggest the motive for killing Goto was a fire at the Robert McLain Overend plantation.  Testimony at trial noted, “Mills had told me that Goto had been up to Overend’s camp. Mr. Overend’s cane field was set fire October 19th, a little after 9 o'clock.”

“We had Goto for an interpreter, and he did not act on the square, and a new interpreter was got and he gave matters away. I only heard Mr. Overend say that he would break his damned neck.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, May 20, 1890)

Others note Goto was successful in his store and other store operators were concerned about losing business because of him.  Joseph R Mills operated a store a few yards from Goto’s (Goto was the only Japanese storekeeper in the area.)

The testimony of star witnesses Richmond and Lala, who had both taken part in the incident, yielded the following description of how Goto ultimately died.

“The two of them were summoned separately on the night that Goto was killed. Richmond was summoned by Steele and sent to watch for a Jap who would be leaving the (Japanese) living quarters on horseback”.

“When they got to where Mills and the others were waiting, Mills told him to grab the bridle of the horse that (Goto) would be riding toward them. After Richmond reported that (Goto) was on his way they lay in ambush.”

“Steele and Blabon dragged the man off the horse. … Steele, Blabon, Mills, and Watson carried him to a location away from the road where he was placed face down and his hands and feet bound. … Mills sent Richmond to pick up a rope at the foot of the telephone pole, a rope that, he found, already had a hangman's knot at one end.”

“When he returned with the rope someone in the group said, ‘My God! He is dead.’ Richmond then bent over and put his hand over the man's heart but could feel no heartbeat. …”

“The body was then carried over to the telephone pole. Watson threw the rope over the crossbar, Mills put the noose around Goto's neck, and the body was hauled up and suspended.”  (Kubota)

After deliberating for more than six hours, the jury returned verdicts of manslaughter in the second degree for Steele and Mills, and manslaughter in the third degree for Blabon and Watson.  Judge Albert Francis Judd subsequently sentenced Mills and Steele to nine years imprisonment at hard labor, Blabon to five and Watson to four.

All four were transferred under guard from Hilo jail to Oʻahu Prison immediately after the trial. Steele later escaped and presumably stowed away on a ship bound for Australia; Blabon also escaped and probably stowed away, too.  Mills received a full pardon in 1894.  Watson was the only one to serve out his full sentence.

At the same time of the Goto killing, the Annual Meeting of the Planters’ Labor and Supply Company was being held.  They adopted a resolution against racial prejudice, resolving that they “strongly disapprove of every act and publication intended or calculated to excite any distrust or prejudice in the minds of the native Hawaiians against those of foreign birth or parentage, or to excite feelings of contempt or distrust toward the natives”.  (Daily Bulletin, October 29, 1889)

(Peterson was Attorney-General at the time of the overthrow in 1893. He was arrested and jailed by the Republic of Hawaiʻi in the aftermath of the 1895 Counter-Revolution and then exiled to San Francisco where he died of pneumonia.)

(Peterson had conferred upon him the decoration of the Imperial Order of the Sacred Treasure of Japan for services rendered to the Japanese Government.  (San Francisco Call, March 17, 1895))  (Lots of information here from Kubota.)

The image shows some of the locations noted in the summary in and around the town of Honokaʻa.  (Google Earth)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Follow Peter T Young on Facebook  

Follow Peter T Young on Google+    

Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn   

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Monday, October 27, 2014


It’s melted away;
This Buddha of snow is now
Indeed a true one
(Yamazaki Sokan (1464-1553))

A traditional Haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.

Wait ... that's not what this is about.  However, this is about a place (Haʻikū) at about the time the Haiku above was written.

According to oral tradition, Piʻilani unified the entire island of Maui, bringing together under one rule the formerly-competing eastern (Hāna) and western (Wailuku) multi-district kingdoms of the Island.   In the 1500s, Chief Piʻilani (“stairway to heaven”) ruled in peace and prosperity.

Among other accomplishments, Piʻilani built interconnecting trails.  His son, Kihapiʻilani laid the East Maui section and connected the island.  This trail was the only ancient pathway to encircle any Hawaiian island (not only along the coast, but also up the Kaupō Gap and through the summit area and crater of Haleakalā.)

"Hāmākua Poko (Short Hāmākua) and Hāmākua Loa (Long Hāmākua) are two coastal regions where gently sloping kula lands intersected by small gulches come down to the sea along the northern coast line of East Maui."

"Stream taro was probably planted along the watercourses well up into the higher kula land and forest taro throughout the lower forest zone. The number of very narrow ahupuaʻa thus utilized along the whole of the Hāmākua coast indicates that there must have been a very considerable population."

"This would be despite the fact that it is an area of only moderate precipitation because of being too low to draw rain out of trade winds flowing down the coast from the rugged and wet northeast Koʻolau area that lies beyond."

"It was probably a favorable region for breadfruit, banana, sugar cane, arrowroot; and for yams and ʻawa in the interior. The slopes between gulches were covered with good soil, excellent for sweet-potato planting. The low coast is indented by a number of small bays offering good opportunity for fishing."  (Handy)

At the boundary of Hāmākaupoko and Hāmākualoa (within the Hāmākualoa moku) is the ahupuaʻa of Haʻikū (lit. speak abruptly) and Haʻikū Uka (inland.)

At the time of Captain Cook’s arrival (1778-1779), the Hawaiian Islands were divided into four kingdoms: (1) the island of Hawaiʻi under the rule of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, who also had possession of the Hāna district of east Maui; (2) Maui (except the Hāna district,) Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe, ruled by Kahekili; (3) Oʻahu, under the rule of Kahahana; and (4) Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, Kamakahelei was ruler.

In the battles between Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Kahekili, "Kalaniʻōpuʻu decided to go on to Koʻolau, Maui, where food was abundant.  He went to Kāʻanapali and fed his soldiers upon the taro of Honokahua...."

"At Hāmākualoa Kalaniʻōpuʻu landed and engaged in battle, but Kahekili hastened to the aid of his men, and they put up such a fierce fight that Kalaniʻōpuʻu fled in his canoes. Landing at Koʻolau he slew the common people and maltreated the captives".

Of the wars, it was noted, "Like the fiery petals of the lehua blossoms of Pi‘iholo were the soldiers of Kahekili, red among the leaves of the koa trees of Liliko‘i or as one glimpses them through the kukui trees of Ha‘ikū."   (Kamakau)

During Kamehameha's later conquest of Maui at Wailuku and ʻIao Valley, his canoe fleet landed at various places along the Hāmākua coast.

A notable feature along and through Haʻikū is Maliko Gulch; it apparently had a pre-contact canoe landing at the mouth of the gulch.  (Xamanek)

"Maliko is a place with a good stream, it is also an anchorage for seafaring boats, and there is a wharf on one side. The cliff is quite steep, but the flat lands below, are beautifully adorned with groves of kukui."  (A Journey, 1868; Maly)

By 1858, The Haʻikū Sugar Plantation was formed, at the time, there were only ten sugar companies in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Five of these sugar companies were on the island of Maui, but only two were in operation. The five were: East Maui Plantation at Kaluanui, Brewer Plantation at Hāliʻimaile, LL Torbert and Captain James Makee's plantation at ʻUlupalakua, Hāna and Haʻikū Plantation.

The Haiku Mill, on the east bank of Maliko Gulch, was completed in 1861; 600-acres of cane the company had under cultivation yielded 260 tons of sugar and 32,015 gallons of molasses. Over the years the company procured new equipment for the mill.

Click HERE for a link to a prior post on Haiku Plantation.

(In 1853, the government of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i had set aside much of the adjoining Hāmākuapoko to the Board of Education. The Board of Education deeded the Hāmākuapoko acreage which was unencumbered by native claims to the Trustees of Oʻahu College (Punahou) in 1860, who then sold the land to the Haʻikū Sugar Company (Cultural Surveys))

In 1871 Samuel T Alexander became manager of the mill. Alexander and later his partner, Henry Perrine Baldwin, saw the need for a reliable source of water, and started construction of the Hāmākua ditch in 1876.

With the completion of the ditch, the majority of Haʻikū Plantation's crops were grown on the west side of Maliko gulch. As a result in 1879 Haʻikū mill was abandoned and its operations were transferred to Hāmākuapoko where a new factory was erected, which had more convenient access to the new sugar fields.

Other ditches were later added to the system, with five ditches at different levels used to convey the water to the cane fields on the isthmus of Maui. In order of elevation they are Haʻikū, Lowrie, Old Hāmākua, New Hāmākua, and Kailuanui ditches.   (They became part of the East Maui Irrigation system.)

Click HERE for a link to a prior post on East Maui Irrigation.

Although two missionaries (Richard Armstrong and Amos Cooke) established the Haʻikū Sugar Company in 1858, its commercial success was due to a second-generation missionary descendant, Henry Perrine Baldwin. In 1877, Baldwin constructed a sugar mill on the west side of Maliko Gulch, named the Hāmākuapoko Mill.

By 1880, the Haiku Sugar Company was milling and bagging raw sugar at Hāmākuapoko for shipment out of Kuau Landing. The Kuau Landing was abandoned in favor of the newly-completed Kahului Railroad line in 1881, with all regional sugar sent then by rail to the port of Kahului.

Brothers Henry Perrine and David Dwight Baldwin laid the foundation for the company in the late-1800s through the acquisition of land.  Experimentation with hala kahiki (pineapple) began in 1890, when the first fruit was planted in Haʻikū.

In 1903 the Baldwin brothers formed Haʻikū Fruit & Packing Company, launching the pineapple industry on Maui.  Maui’s first pineapple cannery began operations by 1904, with the construction of a can-making plant and a cannery in Haʻikū.

1,400 cases of pineapple were packed during the initial run. In time, the independent farmers for miles around brought their fruit there to be processed.

Haʻikū Plantation remained in operation until 1905 when it merged with Pāʻia Plantation, to form Maui Agricultural Company. (In 1948, Maui Agricultural Company merged with HC&S (Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company.))

At the outbreak of WWII, the Army rented 1,600-acres from various landowners in the Haʻikū area.  Buildings went up for offices, tents for living quarters; mess halls were constructed and roads carved out. Post Exchanges opened up; movie screens and stages were built and baseball diamonds were laid out.

The 4th Marine Division was deactivated November 28, 1945.  In April 1946, the Camp Maui land was returned to the owners.  Today, the grounds are now a public park named “Kalapukua Playground” (“magical playground”;) Giggle Hill has a large children's playground (and some claim they can still hear the laughter of Marines and their girlfriends on dark nights.)  The centerpiece of the park is the memorial to the Fourth Marine Division.

Click HERE for a link to a prior post on Camp Maui.

The image shows the ahupuaʻa of Haʻikū, over Google Earth)    In addition, I have included more related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

Follow Peter T Young on Facebook 

Follow Peter T Young on Google+ 

Follow Peter T Young on LinkedIn   

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kainalu Elementary (my alma mater, grades K-2) recently held a community session where Dr Paul Brennan spoke of the history of Kailua, Oʻahu.

I taped the presentation and posted it on YouTube – Click HERE to seen the video.

He includes several old photos and maps to help tell the Kailua story.

Eleventh Century


There was conflict in various parts of the world.

It was nearing the end of the Heian period in Japan.  The battle of Kawasaki was the first major battle of the Early Nine Years' War (Zenkunen War) (1051-1063.)  (The fighting lasted for twelve years (or nine if you subtract short periods of ceasefire and peace.))

The war was fought between the forces of the powerful Abe clan of the far northeast of the main island of Honshū, led by Abe no Sadato, and those of the Minamoto clan, acting as agents of the Imperial Court, and led by Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son Yoshiie. 

In 1062, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi, along with his son, led an assault on an Abe fortress on the Kuriyagawa. They diverted the water supply, stormed the earthworks and stockade, and set the fortress aflame. After two days of fighting, Sadato surrendered.

At about this time, the seiitaishogun or shōgun became de facto rulers of Japan through powerful regional clans with support from samurai (bushi) serving as the military nobility.

Europe was at war as well; on September 28, 1066, William (William the Conqueror) of Normandy (Northern France) landed in England on Britain's southeast coast, with approximately 7,000 troops and cavalry.

He then marched to Hastings; on October 14, 1066 William defeated King Harold (England) at the Battle of Hastings.  After further military efforts, William was crowned king (the first Norman King of England) on Christmas Day 1066.

At the end of the century, Europe saw the first of the Crusades, launched on November 27, 1095 by Pope Urban II; it was a military expedition by Roman Catholic Europe to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquests of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099.  (Between 1095 and 1291 there were seven major crusades.)

Stuff was happening in the Pacific, as well.

Using stratigraphic archaeology and refinements in radiocarbon dating, recent studies suggest it was about this same time that “Polynesian explorers first made their remarkable voyage from central Eastern Polynesia Islands, across the doldrums and into the North Pacific, to discover Hawai‘i.”  (Kirch)

“Most important from the perspective of Hawaiian settlement are the colonization dates for the Society Islands and the Marquesas, as these two archipelagoes have long been considered to be the immediate source regions for the first Polynesian voyagers to Hawai‘i. … In sum, the southeastern archipelagoes and islands of Eastern Polynesia have a set of radiocarbon chronologies now converging on the period from AD 900–1000.”  (Kirch)

New research indicates human colonization of Eastern Polynesia took place much faster and more recently than previously thought. Polynesian ancestors settled in Samoa around 800 BC, colonized the central Society Islands between AD 1025 and 1120 and dispersed to New Zealand, Hawaiʻi and Rapa Nui and other locations between AD 1190 and 1290.  (Hunt; PVS)

With improved radiocarbon dating techniques and equipment to more than 1,400-radiocarbon dated materials from 47 islands, the model considers factors such as when a tree died rather than just when the wood was burned and whether seeds were gnawed by rats, which were introduced by humans.  (PVS)

“There is also no question that at least O‘ahu and Kaua‘i islands were already well settled, with local populations established in several localities, by AD 1200.”  (Kirch)

Late and rapid dispersals explain remarkable similarities in artifacts such as fishhooks, adzes and ornaments across the region. The condensed timeframe suggests assumptions about the rates of linguistic evolution and human impact on pristine island ecosystems also need to be revised.  (PVS)

While Europeans were sailing close to the coastlines of continents before developing navigational instruments that would allow them to venture onto the open ocean, voyagers from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa began to settle islands in an ocean area of over 10 million square miles.

The settlement took a thousand years and involved finding and fixing in mind the position of islands, sometimes less than a mile in diameter on which the highest landmark was a coconut tree. By the time European explorers entered the Pacific Ocean in the 16th century almost all the habitable islands had been settled for hundreds of years.

The voyaging was all the more remarkable in that it was done in canoes built with tools of stone, bone and coral. The canoes were navigated without instruments by expert seafarers who depended on their observations of the ocean and sky and traditional knowledge of the patterns of nature for clues to the direction and location of islands.    (Kawaharada; PVS)

The canoe hulls were dug out from tree trunks with adzes or made from planks sewn together with a cordage of coconut fiber twisted into strands and braided for strength. Cracks and seams were sealed with coconut fibers and sap from breadfruit or other trees.

An outrigger was attached to a single hull for greater stability on the ocean; two hulls were lashed together with crossbeams and a deck added between the hulls to create double canoes capable of voyaging long distances.

The canoes were paddled when there was no wind and sailed when there was; the sails were woven from coconut or pandanus leaves. These vessels were seaworthy enough to make voyages of over 2,000 miles along the longest sea roads of Polynesia, such as the one between Hawai‘i and Tahiti.

And though these double-hulled canoes had less carrying capacity than the broad-beamed ships of the European explorers, the Polynesian canoes were faster: one of Captain Cook’s crew estimated a Tongan canoe could sail “three miles to our two.”

By the time Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i in the 18th-century, voyaging between Hawai‘i and the rest of Polynesia had ceased for more than 400 years, perhaps the last voyager being Pā’ao or Moʻikeha in the 14th-century. The reason for the cessation of voyaging is not known.

However, after the 14th-century, the archaeological evidence reveals a dramatic expansion of population and food production in Hawai‘i. Perhaps the resources and energies of the Hawaiian people went into developing their ‘āina; and ties with families and gods on the islands to the south weakened.  (Kawaharada; PVS)  (Lots of information here from Kirch, Kawaharada and Polynesian Voyaging Society.)

The image shows an illustration of an ancient voyaging canoe.  (Herb Kane)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

The image shows a Voyaging canoe.  (Herb Kane)    In addition, I have included more related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC